Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect - Fletcher DeLancey If this review had a title like Amazon's reviews have, it would be "Sci-fi for lesfic romance lovers", or better yet "FREE sci-fi for lesfic romance lovers". Yep, its free to download on the author's website.

This book is the start of a series of 5 novel-length fan fiction stories based on the Star Trek Voyager TV series and its characters. I know most people equate fanfiction with unsophisticated writing, an abundance of typos, and lack of editing but this is a rare exception. (Note: The author has polished up the books through the years and is now an editor with Ylva.)

I never watched the TV series, so no prior knowledge is necessary to enjoy the book, though a little Wikipedia reading/youtube watching wont hurt. Because of its reliance on the Star Trek universe and characters, there is no need for detailed world-building. The author has the luxury of concentrating on developing the plot, the characters and the romance...and did all of those aspects incredibly well. This wouldn't be a well-written sci-fi book without the tech terminology but its not overwhelming for lesfic readers.

The plot is very well laid out. After I finished the first book, I kinda wondered if each of the books would be like a tv episode, featuring an independent adventure, but fortunately, things are not that simple. There is an overall arc and events that happen in the first book have some surprising repercussions much later in the series.

Most of the book is told from Capt. Janeway's limited pov, so she is naturally the most well-rounded character. But all the other major characters of the tv show get significant character development. I'm surprised (and delighted) that the author chose to inject her own original character(s) into the book. This is a welcome departure from the usual fanfic ships as those have been done to death already and the author wouldn't have been able to make it last 5 books. :)

As I mentioned earlier, this is a book for lesfic romance lovers. You can transport the whole setting to earth, or the sea, and the book will still stand as an excellent romance. The development is slow, realistic and very sensitively portrayed. So much so that there were times when I wondered if it was actually getting too much in the way of the Captain's duties. That's romance for you! :) I shouldn't forget to mention the intimate scenes. For me, these tend to be the most skim-able parts of lesfic. Well, after a few hundred books, they tend to sound like been there, done that. But this book's intimate scenes sizzle!

4.5 stars